Explaining the New EPA Health Advisories About PFAS
The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) is dedicated to the protection of public health and safety through the essential services we provide to more than two million North Texans. As part of our commitment to those we serve and the environment, we want to share some information about a recent health advisory released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), which are contaminants of emerging concern that include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perflourooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorobutane sulfonic acid and related compounds (PFBS), and GenX chemicals.
NTMWD relies on our regulatory agencies, the EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), for the latest science and research relating to PFAS.
EPA Roadmap and Commitments to Action
In alignment with the PFAS Strategic Roadmap: EPA’s Commitments to Action 2021-2024, the EPA has released new health advisories* with revised levels for PFAS to help federal, state, and local officials determine what actions may be needed to address public health impacts. As part of this roadmap, the Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) was established for water systems to conduct sampling and data collection between Jan. 2023 and Dec. 2025 to provide critically needed information to the EPA on the frequency and levels of PFAS found in the nation’s drinking water systems.
The EPA uses the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) to collect data for contaminants of emerging concern that are suspected to be present in drinking water and do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 3) was published in May 2012 and included PFAS. Data for UCMR 3 was collected between 2013 and 2015 using analytical methods developed by EPA, consensus organizations or both.
As part of the UCMR 3 process, several of our Member Cities collected and tested samples that resulted in non-detectable levels for PFAS. Fortunately, the types of industry and manufacturing processes that typically produce PFAS are not prevalent in our watersheds, .
NTMWD’s top priority is to keep drinking water safe.
We use advanced, multi-step treatment processes and technologies while continuously monitoring and testing hundreds of samples every day to ensure drinking water meets or surpasses regulatory, health and aesthetic standards set by the EPA and TCEQ. NTMWD maintains its “Superior Water System” rating from the TCEQ year after year.
NTMWD takes great pride in providing high quality, dependable water that meets or surpasses all state and federal water quality standards. NTMWD will continue to the EPA and TCEQ as standards for PFAS are researched and established and take necessary steps to comply with any new water quality standards established by these agencies.
Read the full EPA Release:
EPA PFAS Website:
EPA Questions and Answers: Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOA, PFOS, GenX Chemicals and PFBS:
Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS Fact Sheet for Communities:
EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR):
TCEQ Drinking Water Quality Website:
* EPA health advisories are not federal regularity limits but are defined as providing “information on contaminants that can cause human health effects and are known or anticipated to occur in drinking water. EPA’s health advisories are non-enforceable and non-regulatory and provide technical information to states agencies and other public health officials on health effects, analytical methodologies, and treatment technologies associated with drinking water contamination.” NTMWD encourages anyone with specific health concerns to reach out to their healthcare provider.